Organic Cleaning

How to Clean Your Home After Thanksgiving

How to Clean Your Home After Thanksgiving

The big day has finally arrived; it’s Thanksgiving!

Your holiday will be filled with love and gratitude, whether you’re physically surrounded by loved ones, sharing your meal with family and friends on Zoom, or just eating in your own company. Unfortunately, the day’s proceedings will also fill your home with a mess in a few hours.

Last week, we went oversome tips (you can read them here: to help make your Thanksgiving less stressful for your home. Those tips will still help you manage most of the mess you make throughout the day, but a mess after your celebration is unavoidable.

Here are some tips for you to keep your home clean after this joyful whirlwind of a holiday!


A tip I gave you last week was to ask people for help to tidy up throughout the day, because you’ll need it. Cleaning up after Thanksgiving isn’t a one-man job; you’ll need help for that, too. Do not be afraid to ask your household or guests!

Think about it this way: you were gracious enough to host a feast, cook some food, and take part in festivities with members of your household and your guests. Those things aren’t easy to do, and everyone at your gathering appreciates you for doing them. They’d love to show their appreciation by helping you in whatever way they can. So let them!

Your guests don’t have to clear the table to make a grand contribution to your home’s cleanliness; every bit counts. Just think of how much time and effort you would save if each guest cleaned up after themselves!

You can make that a little easier for them by setting up a leftover station — after dinner, leave space for an area (that your guests can access) with your leftovers and some kitchen storage containers to bring them home in. People will be less likely to drop food if they don’t have to search for storage containers to carry it in, and you’ll have less food to put away at the end of the night.

Take Care of the Dishes

I told you to wash your dishes (or ask someone to do it for you) in small batches throughout the day. That will lessen the load, but your gravy boat and cooking pots will inevitably be waiting for you after dinner.

Some of your dishes will be more grimy than others. In that case, you’ll want to soak them in warm water and a bit of dish soap. To save time, you can use a plastic container (or part of your sink) as a makeshift tub for the soiled dishware to soak in.

If your pots have burns that your soaking set-up can’t handle, boil a mixture of water, white vinegar, and baking soda in them. Take them off the heat when everything starts boiling and scrub them with a scouring pad and more baking soda.

When you’re soaking your dishes or boiling your pots, you have time to wash the dishes that are less grimy. If you have a dishwasher, you can rinse your dishwasher-safe dishes and put them in there. Try not to stack soiled dishes; that will create more work for you when you wash them.

If you use a cutting board, especially a wooden one, to prepare your proteins (turkey, chicken, ham, etc.), clean it with hot water, dish soap, and maybe white vinegar to avoid cross-contamination. You don’t want to spread salmonella.

Don’t Soak It In

You’re supposed to be revelling in the day’s festivities with your loved ones; why would you want to ruin your mood by cleaning? Save that for tomorrow, right?

Unfortunately, not right.

Unless your turkey is burning in the oven, you should never give stains a chance to set in your linens or flooring. They’ll become virtually impossible to get out, and they’ll discolor your things.

If there are non-water spills on your tablecloth or floors, tend to them with a white vinegar solution (if some oil/grease spills, put some cornstarch or baking soda on it for an hour before you soak it in hot water and dishwashing liquid — either of the powders will absorb the oil/grease).

Strangely enough, even water can leave unsightly stains on your floors and linens. You can use white vinegar and olive oil, and even mayonnaise, to remove water stains from wood surfaces. A regular cycle in the washing machine works to remove water stains from your table linens (which you should do anyway before their next use). White vinegar and water should work as well.

Keep It Neat

Last week, I suggested you clean your fridge to make space for the leftovers (that is, after your guests decide which ones are coming with them). When you’re putting your leftovers away, put them in clear kitchen storage containers.

You’ll be able to see which leftovers are which, and that could help with food waste. You and your household won’t have to search for specific leftovers for a long time (only to give up the search after a while), and more of the food will get eaten.

Storage containers are stackable by design, so you won’t have to squeeze your leftovers into the fridge or balance your platters on what’s already there. They also discourage stains (because they have lids), so you won’t find stains in your fridge from when you tried to pull the leftovers out at midnight.

We at Andy’s Quality Cleaning hope you have a happy, healthy, love-filled Thanksgiving. The mess from the day’s festivities shouldn’t keep you from celebrating how you want, or with who you want. We’ll be happy to take cleaning off your list of things to do after Thanksgiving when you contact us.

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